Winnipeg – Winnipeg Blue Bomber kicker Justin Medlock has had a well travelled career, but on Thursday night he will return to the city where he spent the longest period of time since being a 5th round NFL draft pick by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2007. And Medlock says he is looking forward to his return to Hamilton where he spent the 2011 and 2014 and 2015 seasons.
“I’m excited to go back and see some of the guys, go play in the stadium and get a win. Great memories of a good team and good people in the organization, I loved my time there.” said Medlock. He added “it was tough to leave, but it’s a business and I wanted to come to Winnipeg, that was kind of my number one goal coming into free agency. But it was tough to leave, I loved Kent and I had Luke Tasker there and a lot of the equipment guys and training staff, guys on the team. They were all great guys so it was tough to leave. But everywhere in the CFL I’ve been, it has always been great.”
Medlock started his CFL career in Toronto in 2009, making 40 of 46 field goals before taking another shot at the NFL in 2010. He returned to the Argos later that season, was subsequently waived, signed with Edmonton before the Eskimos traded him to Hamilton in early 2011. After making 49 of 55 field goals for the Ticats in ’11, Medlock again headed off the NFL, before rejoining Hamilton in 2014. Medlock is the CFL’s all-time leader in career field goal percentage. He has made 183 of 210 field goal attempts for an 87.1% completion average. And he made 42 of his 47 attempts in 2015, having little or no difficulty with the tricky wind conditions in the Ticats new home, Tim Horton’s Field. Medlock said it’s just a matter of practicing and getting used to the wind shifts in the stadium.
Regarding the Blue Bombers struggling 0-2 start, Medlock said it’s far too early to early too worry.
“It’s tough you know, but I think for a new team with new guys, it’s going to come together. It’s just two games, we have a long season and hopefully we will put it all together. It’s about playing well at the end. In Hamilton in 2014 we started 1-6 and went to the Grey Cup. It just shows you, you have to play well at the end. It’s a long season. Trust me, nobody wins the Cup at the beginning.”
As Medlock gets set to provide the kicking the Bombers will need to get their first win of the season, the Bombers have made 3 significant lineup changes for Thursdays game with the Ticats. Defensive back Bruce Johnson has gone on the 6-game injured list with a hand injury–Travis Hawkins, who has only been with the Bombers for two weeks and who played last year with Toronto, will replace Johnson. Bombers have also activated big rush end Adrian Hubbard from Alabama to try to inject some life into their pass rush. And Weston Dressler returns after missing the last game with a head injury. He will replace Thomas Mayo.
Like Winnipeg, the Ticats are coming off an embarassing loss. They were drilled 28-3 by the B.C. Lions at home last week. The Ticats won their first 9 games in their new home, Tim Hortons Field, but since then have only won 2 of 7 on their home turf. It’s a field that doesn’t hold any good memories for Bomber quarterback Drew Willy. It was last August in Hamilton that Willy suffered a major knee injury that ended his season.